VIDEO: Rebels' vital link back for Crusaders battle
Genia returns from a hamstring injury suffered during the Jaguares match three weeks ago.
Coach David Wessels has made changes right across the board with Fereti Sa’aga and Sam Talakai replacing Tetera Faulkner and Jermaine Ainsley as the starting props.
Also in the forwards, Geoff Parling makes his first start since the Jaguares match, as Angus Cottrell moves to blindside flank with specialist on-baller Colby Fainga’a starting at number 7.
Jack Maddocks returns from a minor ankle injury that saw him be a late withdrawal last weekend in Cape Town. The 21-year-old will start at fullback. Sefa Naivalu’s brace against the Stormers earns him another start on the wing.
Melbourne Rebels Head Coach, Dave Wessels said: "We’re delighted to have Will (Genia) back, he obviously brings great experience and leads our side around the park very well,"
Rebels: 15 Jack Maddocks, 14 Sefa Naivalu, 13 Reece Hodge, 12 Billy Meakes, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Jack Debreczeni, 9 Will Genia, 8 Amanaki Mafi, 7 Colby Fainga’a, 6 Angus Cottrell, 5 Adam Coleman (captain), 4 Geoff Parling, 3 Sam Talakai, 2 Anaru Rangi, 1 Fereti Sa’aga.
Replacements: 16 Nathan Charles, 17 Tetera Faulkner, 18 Jermaine Ainsley, 19 Matt Philip, 20 Lopeti Timani, 21 Michael Ruru, 22 Tom English, 23 Semisi Tupou
Date: Friday, May 4
Venue: AAMI Park, Melbourne
Kick-off: 19.45 (21.45 NZ time; 09.45 GMT)
Referee: Nick Briant
Assistant referees: Will Houston, James Leckie
TMO: Ian Smith